[News] Coups and Other Tests for the Philippines' New "Leftist" Leader

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Wed May 11 11:33:27 EDT 2016


  Coups and Other Tests for the Philippines' New "Leftist" Leader

Prof. Jose Maria Sison May 10, 2016

The newly-elected Philippine president, who promises to be the country's 
first left president, studied Political Thought under the author of this 

Within 24 hours after the Philippine elections closed at 5 p.m. of May 
9, Rodrigo Duterte of the opposition Pilipino-Democratic Party-Laban 
registered in the automated vote count of the Commission on Elections a 
landslide victory in his bid for the Philippine presidency. His rivals 
Grace Poe of the Independent Party, Jejomar Binay of the United 
Nationalist Alliance and Mar Roxas of the ruling Liberal Party conceded 
defeat one after the other.

What was widely feared as a scheme of the ruling Liberal Party to cheat 
did not materialize or could not be carried out because of serious 
warnings of popular uprising against electoral fraud. Those that issued 
warnings included respected institutions and movements, all opposition 
parties, critical sections of the reactionary armed forces and police, 
the revolutionary forces of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the 
New People's Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines 
and the Bangsamoro national liberation movements.

Apparently foreign monopoly interests and the local oligarchy of big 
compradors and landlords have advised the Aquino government that it was 
a better choice to desist from electoral fraud and avoid the risk of 
widespread and uncontrollable civil strife. They are confident that a 
Duterte presidency would still be financially and politically manageable 
by using as lever the underdevelopment and poverty of the Philippines 
and the huge foreign debt and total public debt of the Philippines, 
amounting to more than US$77 billion and Php 164 trillion, respectively.

One notable result of the elections is the defeat of the junior of the 
late Filipino dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos, in his bid for the vice 
presidency. For a while, it seemed that he would succeed by riding on 
the protest vote against the corrupt, brutal and incompetent Aquino 
regime. But he has been defeated by the vice presidential candidate of 
the Liberal Party, Leni Robredo, who strongly reminded the electorate of 
the brutality of the Marcos dictatorship and the complicity of Marcos 
junior in stashing away the billions of dollars stolen by his father 
from the people.

The significance of the electoral victory of Leni Robredo goes beyond 
stopping on its track the drive of the Marcos dynasty to take back 
supreme political power in the Philippines. She is expected by the 
Liberal Party to serve as a check on Duterte and a constant reminder of 
his vulnerability to a coup or to impeachment by a House of 
Representatives and Senate still dominated by the Liberal Party. But of 
course Duterte is well aware of his own share of retired and active 
military and police officers and the opportunism of congressmen and 
senators who traditionally switch loyalty to a new president.

Because of his overwhelming electoral victory, Duterte is expected to 
win further popular support by carrying out his campaign pledge to 
punish corrupt officials and wipe out criminality, especially the 
syndicates engaged in the trade of prohibited drugs and in kidnapping 
for ransom. The broad masses of the people are eagerly awaiting the 
arrest and imprisonment of the outgoing President Benigno S. Aquino and 
his budget mastermind, Florencio Abad, who have become notorious for 
committing plunder and unprecedented corruption in the abuse of the pork 
barrel system.

The revolutionary movement of the people led by the Communist Party of 
the Philippines or CPP supports the determination of Duterte to fight 
corruption and criminality and welcomes his vow to declare a ceasefire 
with the armed revolutionary movement and be the first left president in 
the history of the Philippines. In this regard, the CPP has urged him to 
free the hundreds of political prisoners, accelerate the peace 
negotiations and address the roots of the civil war by adopting basic 
economic, social and political reforms.

The newly-elected president takes pride in having been a student of the 
CPP founding Chairman in Political Thought at the Lyceum of the 
Philippines in the late 1960s, in becoming an activist of the 
anti-imperialist and anti-feudal youth organization, Kabataang 
Makabayan, and in being a long time adherent of the New Patriotic 
Alliance known as BAYAN. Both Kabataang Makabayan and BAYAN have been 
fierce opponents of the Marcos fascist dictatorship and the continuing 
domination of the Philippines by foreign monopoly capitalism, feudalism 
and bureaucrat capitalism.

The CPP has challenged Duterte to assert the national sovereignty of the 
Filipino people and defend the territorial integrity of the Philippines, 
to let the toiling masses of workers and peasants empower themselves 
against the oligarchs, to develop the Philippine economy through 
national industrialization and genuine land reform, to promote a 
patriotic and progressive culture and expand the public school system 
and foster international solidarity for peace and development.

/Prof. Jose Maria Sison is Chairperson of the International League of 
Peoples' Struggle and Chief Political Consultant of the National 
Democratic Front of the Philippines./

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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